Heroes Among Us: Melrose Doctor Answers Questions, Soothes Fears through Video Chats
MELROSE -- It's safe to say there's never been anything quite like the COVID-19 pandemic in our lifetimes. Right now, the advice and comfort of doctors are especially valued.
As the days of the coronavirus turn into weeks, and weeks into months, Dr. Kurt Schwieters, a family physician for CentraCare's Melrose clinic, continues to host Facebook video chats on his page, "Dr. Kurt: A Reliable COVID-19 Update."
Dr. Schwieter's aim is to help viewers understand the actual virus, the ways in which it is being handled, and to answer questions and point viewers toward dependable resources.
"He originally started this as a way to reassure his patients," said Nadine Rieland, long-time friend and patient. "He's not giving actual medical advice to people. He wanted to provide general facts, and information and calmness around what was happening."
The "Dr. Kurt: A Reliable COVID-19 Update" Facebook page currently has over 1,600 followers, tuning in twice a week for the 30-minute segments. Rieland says Dr. Schwieters receives questions from viewers throughout the week, sent via Facebook messenger, to be addressed during the chat. Often, he's joined by fellow professionals: other physicians, a psychotherapist, a social worker, and Rieland, an HR Director for a local long-term care facility to help explain the big-picture effect of the coronavirus.
Rieland says Dr. Schwieter's calm, collected demeanor resonates with viewers.
"This man - he has always been a very kind, caring and humble person," Rieland said. "People are posting when they get anxious about what's happening. And then they actually go watch his videos because he provides such a sense of calm for them."
Rieland says Dr. Schwieters has always been known as a kind, helpful and humble person, and his video chats have gone a long way in making others feel secure and informed during a scary time.
“Like he says on his site,‘Be calm. Be informed. Be accurate. Be kind. Be grateful. Be generous. Be home. Be masked. Do no harm," Rieland said. "And that’s him all the time. Not just during (COVID-19). That’s just who he is.”
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